Tito Vilanova began his career as Barcelona boss in ideal fashion as he oversaw a 5-1 over Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

Taking over from the phenomenally successful Pep Guardiola, any nerves Vilanova might have felt were quickly diminished by an early goal from Carlos Puyol. Though Gonzalez Castro briefly put Sociedad back on level terms, a brace from Lionel Messi followed by strikes from Pedro and David Villa made it a comfortable victory.

Back to start the season after injury forced him to miss the closing stages of last season as well as Euro 2012, Puyol struck after less than four minutes. Xavi's corner from the right was headed into the back of the net with typical authority from the Barca captain.

Barcelona's lead would last just five minutes, though, as one of Sociedad's new signings stunned the home crowd. Asier Illarramendi threaded a ball through the Barca defense and Castro showed plenty of composure to take a touch before finishing high past Victor Valdes at the near post.

The goal would only spur Barcelona on and the game was quickly taken away from the visitors. Messi picked up where he left off last season as he somehow squeezed between two defenders just inside the box before unleashing a rising left-footed shot into the top corner.

In an incredible opening, by the 16th minute it was 3-1. Messi saw his opening shot blocked before Cristian Tello chipped the ball back toward the Argentinian at the near post and he made no mistake second time around.

Tello, who was thought to be close to joining Liverpool just last week, showed why Barcelona decided to hang on to him as he set up a second goal to put the result beyond doubt, four minutes before half time. The young Spaniard produced a clever cross to find the on-rushing Pedro at the far post, who showed fine technique to side-foot a low volley back across Sociedad keeper Claudio Bravo.

All that remained was to celebrate Villa's return to first-team action after breaking his leg last December. Less than 10 minutes after coming off the bench Villa laid the ball off to Andres Iniesta on the edge of the box and after a typically incisive dribble to the byline he returned the ball to Villa who produced a fine first-time left-footed finish into the far corner.

With Real Madrid dropping points in a 1-1 draw with Valencia, it proved to be an excellent start for Barcelona in their quest to reclaim the La Liga title.